Interior design student wins scholarship for environmentally friendly design

A senior interior design major won a $400 scholarship Thursday at Bass Performance Hall after she presented environmentally efficient design methods.

The scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, granted senior Ericka Bailey funds for the upcoming Linking Education and Economic Development Exam, which certifies students’ knowledge on environmentally friendly designs.

Bailey presented a reconstruction of the 700-square-foot Botanical Research Institute of Texas Building encouraging energy efficiency, which promotes safer environmental practices. A plant wall with an air purifier creates a unique way of saving energy costs. Bailey presented this idea to the council heads regarding the Botanical building.

“My minor is lighting, which is very energy driven, so I want to use materials in a way that make it nondetrimental to the environment,” Bailey said.

Senior interior design major Rachel Mecum accompanied Bailey and also presented an idea about the Botanical building. Mecum said green practices involving homes and businesses were a fad for years but now have caught attention in the Metroplex.

San Diego Green Council’s former president Stephen Kapp said operating cost saving, low toxic material, recycled material and waste production are key elements to a green building. He said the exam tests students’ knowledge of these elements. Kapp said the college generation serves as the “change agent generation.”

The exam will take place in early March for interior design majors and it will test the students’ knowledge of the LEED Rating System, which is responsible for many design processes, according to the council’s Web site.

Bailey said she remains optimistic about environmentally safe ideas and submitted the project independently to the council.

“I just hope when I graduate and leave in May that this won’t die,” Bailey said.